1 Feb 2017

恵方巻 - Ehomaki

Ehomaki, the uncut version of futomaki (thick nori wrapped sushi rolls) are a bit like sushi burritos. Ehomaki are eaten in Japan on Setsubun which marks the end of winter. It is celebrated on 3 February (yeah, so not marking the end of winter here in Finland... ). Eating ehomaki on Setsubun will bring good fortune for the year, but only if you do it by following certain rules.

Luckily January is over now. To me January is probably the worst month of all: it's so very dark still, usually not very snowy here by the sea, Christmas is past and so long until spring. And it always feels to last forever. I usually never plan anything for January, maybe I should, so I would have something to wait for then. February is already filled with plans and March and April too...

Back to ehomaki, thick sushi rolls or sushi burritos, whatever you want to call them... You could put inside anything you fancied: I filled mine with pickled carrots and onions, salmon, avocado, lettuce, and seasoned with coriander, sesame seeds and wasabi.


for 2

150 ml Japanese rice
165 ml water

Sushi vinegar:
1.5 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt

2 nori wraps
salmon, cut in strips
avokado, sliced
thinly cut carrot sticks (or pickled carrots)
sesame seeds, toasted

pickled carrots and onions (make beforehand, scroll down for recipe).

Wash the rice thoroughly and drain it. Let it soak for 15-30 min in cooking water. Cook it: (Just Hungry has superb instructions, I use the "frying pan" -method). Bring the rice to boil on high heat (the lid on). Then turn the heat off (or to lowest setting) and let the rice cook under the lid (don't open it!). If it starts to boil over, remove the pan from heat for some minutes. 10 minutes after the boiling started, put the heat back on high for 30 sec to 1 min, (you will hear soon some cooking noise) then turn off the heat. Leave to steam for 10-15 minutes. Once again, do not open the lid at any point! (If you have a rice cooker, you can just omit this part and use your cooker ^^ )

Meanwhile, prepare the sushi vinegar (mix all together) and the fillings.

When the rice is ready, sprinkle the sushi vinegar on it and with "cutting movements" mix it to the rice while fanning with a fan, newspaper etc... (you can ask someone to help, it's quite difficult at first by yourself). The rice will be better if cooled down quickly. Don't refrigerate it. If you have to store it for some time, put a wet tea towel on the bowl and leave it on room-temperature.

Assemble the rolls: put a sushi mat or a towel on the counter and place a clingfilm or baking paper on it. Put a nori wrap on and cover with seasoned rice. Leave a 1-cm in one border uncovered. Arrange your fillings in one row. Wet the one border uncovered by rice and roll ehomaki up with the help of the clingfilm and sushi mat. Cut in two if you're serving them burrito style or leave whole if you want to do the lucky charm (see the link above).

Express-pickled onions

1 (red) onion
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Slice the onion thinly. Mix all together in a bowl or jar and let the onion soften at least 30 minutes.

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